True measurement of volatile nitrogen from animal housing, is that (almost) possible?
The nitrogen emissions that dissipate under the form of ammonia from a barn with chickens, dairy cattle, beef cattle or pigs are now determined with a prediction model, creating an average estimate based on a fixed emission factor per animal species and barn type.
The element nitrogen (N) is ubiquitous: 78% of the atmosphere is composed of nitrogen gas (N2) and it is a building block of all life on earth. No wonder it is an essential element in plant fertilizers and animal feed. Yet it also causes some intractable environmental problems.
The nitrogen cycle
The nitrogen gas (N2) that makes up 78% of the air cannot be used in that form by living organisms. To be available as a nutrient, it must be converted into a reactive form. The main natural sources of reactive nitrogen are biological nitrogen fixation in soils and oceans, wildfires, and lightning.